This is the second part of the last post of my trip at Brussels, if you have missed the previous post, you’ll find it here.
Shortly before the entrance of the European district, there is the Church of Saint Boniface. This was built in 1846 by J. Dumont architect, and is the first Neo-Gothic church in Brussels.
From there, in few steps, starts the European area, since in Brussels there are more offices of European Union. In fact in Brussels, over minor departments, there are the European Commission (in these buildings was hosted the award ceremony of the contest that I won), the European Union Council and a secondary seat of the European Parliament. For this Brussels is considered capital of the European Union, with Strasbourg and Luxembourg.
A nice point is the Espace Leopold, the complex of parliament buildings that hosts the seat of European Parliament. Here there are various buildings: the Altiero Spinelli building, the President’s office and the Paul-Henri Spaak building.
Interesting is the Berlaymon building, the house of the headquarter of the European Commission. It has a cruciform design, based on the 1958 secretariat building of UNESCO in Paris. Was designed by Lucien De Vestel and from 1991 to 2004 the palace was closed for renovation, to remove the asbestos.
At the edge of the European district there is the Leopold Park. This is a public park opened in 1880, where in those years started the construction of the campus of the famous Solvay School of Commerce, but the build was interrupted for fear of encroachment on the park and its fragile wildlife. Here in fact, there are many beautiful trees, with a green grass and many animals, among which swans, ducks, doves, that refresh themselves at the small lake of the park.
Crossed the Leopold Park, we arrived to another bigger park, the Parc du Cinquantenaire. Also named Jubelpark, this is a very large public park with many picturesque gardens, ponds and water plays. This park has a number of buildings that forms an U-shaped complex. These buildings were commissioned by the Belgian government under the King Leopold II for the 1880 National Exhibition commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Belgian independence.
In the following years, with others exhibitions, were added more structures, like the centerpiece triumphal arch, that was erected in 1905 to replace a previous temporary version of the arcade by Gédéon Bordiau. Unfortunately with that cloudy time we weren’t able to appreciate the area, since the colors were muffled and there was a weak light. The palaces were made in iron, glass and stone to emphasize the economic and industrial performance of Belgium.
In the park there are the Royal Military Museum (a military museum that contains uniforms, weapons, vehicles and military equipment of various periods and countries) and the Cinquantenaire Museum. This is part of the Royal Museums of Art and History and it’s one of the largest museums in Europe. The museum has the collection of National archaeology, the collection of Antiquity, the collection of non-European civilisations and the collection of European decorative arts. The façade of the museum is really impressive, both because is decorated with dome and columns, then cause is surrounded by trees and dominates a long avenue park.
Terminated the visit at the Parc du Cinquantenaire, we came back at the hotel to take the bags and go to the airport. The travel to Brussels it’s over. I’ll remember forever this trip. Brussels is a nice city, mostly for the Grand Place, that is a must to see, and the beer, that is really delicious. Plus in this town I had one of the most beautiful experience of my life. Be a winner in a European photo contest, and show you work in front of several journalists coming from many different countries, is an emotion too great. I’ll never forget it.
Good light to everyone